Nothing is worse than looking forward all day to juicy chicken breasts for dinner, only to realize that you haven't factored in defrosting time. Thawing frozen meat can set your meal back by an hour or more depending on how much you plan on cooking. Unfortunately, you can't rush this process, and by the time it's ready to cook you might have fully entered a dangerous state of hanger. One way to avoid the waiting time and hanger is to cook your frozen chicken in an instant pot!
The Magic of an Instant Pot
I view instant pots as magical appliances that somehow accommodate any cooking need. Instant pots are a brand of electric pressure cookers that can be found on Amazon or any store with a kitchen section. These versatile kitchen tools are great for easy recipes or first-time cooks since they typically take less effort than cooking with the stove or oven. Not to mention, they cook food much faster due to their ability to pressure cook.
While frozen chicken breasts can take over an hour to de-freeze before being cooked in the oven, you can transfer them directly from the freezer into the instant pot and have them ready in minutes by using pressure cooking!
How to Cook Frozen Chicken in an Instant Pot
The procedure used to cook frozen chicken breasts in the instant pot is the same as that for fresh chicken, it simply takes a few extra minutes of cooking time. It's important to check the internal temperature of the meat before taking it out; it should be 165 degrees F to be safe for consumption. However, it can be taken out once it reaches 160 degrees F, because it will reach 165 while resting.
When cooking frozen chicken breasts in the instant pot, first place chicken in the pot and add a cup of water or chicken broth. Season with salt, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, or whatever you prefer for flavoring. Then, close the lid and ensure that your instapot's vent knob points toward 'sealed.'
Set your pressure cooker to cook time-based on the size of your chicken breasts. If you're starting with frozen chicken, it will take slightly longer to cook than with fresh. A 6-ounce chicken breast should take 10 minutes on high pressure, while an 8-ounce breast will take 11 minutes, and a 10-ounce breast will take 12 minutes.
Once cook time has finished, you can allow for the natural pressure release for 5 minutes, then do a quick release. Lastly, you'll remove your chicken from the cooking liquid and allow it to rest for 5 to 10 minutes. This works great for boneless or bone-in chicken. If you're making shredded chicken to put in enchiladas, tacos or chicken salad, shredding the chicken doesn't take long. Simply put your cooked chicken and liquid back into the instant pot and shred with a handheld mixer.
Chicken is the ideal food for weeknight dinners and meal prep, because it's super versatile and healthy. This lean meat is a great source of potassium and vitamin A, and it has lower cholesterol and kcals than most meat options. Chicken also has no carbohydrates, so it's perfect for low-carb diets like the paleo diet. By using your instant pot, you can have a tasty and healthy chicken dinner whenever you like, whether you've planned for it or not!